HEIMDALL, PCF´s new HORIZON 2020 Project

We are pleased to share with you one of our most important projects of the Pau Costa Foundation within HORIZON 2020, HEIMDALL. We are in the middle of the first stage of this project, and we would like to introduce you to the ones we are dedicating ourselves and 13 more European partners. Without further ado, we are giving you all a warm welcome to HEIMDALL!:

This current project will be ongoing for three years and with this first newsletter we would like to give you a briefing about what it is and what the project consists of. The project will last until October 2020 and in between we will keep you updated about the partner meetings, the new incomes, and in general, about the steps that we are taking towards HEIMDALL, an ambicious project that was tailored to the needs of  practitioners and which we hope will respond to your needs.  Here we go!

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What is HEIMDALL?  

It is a cooperative multi-hazard management tool which provides data exchange, scenario building and situation assessment functionalities for preparedness and response planning in relation to wildfires, floods and landslides.

What makes HEIMDALL so special?

Bearing in mind that climate change is amplifying natural disasters impacts, intensity and duration of extreme weather events in Europe and worldwide, we consider a need to build up a tool in order to foster knowledge and data exchange to cope with complex crisis situations which require participation, coordination and cooperation of multiple first-responder organizations and international aid.

What are HEIMDALL objectives?

Overall, Heimdall is focused on two main objectives:

  1. Improving immediate cooperative situation assessment and strategic response planning activities
  2. Improving long-term preparedness activities (e.g. strategies for DDR)

Do you want to learn more about HEIMDALL? Continue here

HEIMDALL- End users tested for the second time HEIMDALL software

Savona | HEIMDALL (Landslides)

HEIMDALL Team met in Savona (Italy) last April to deploy the second demonstration of the project to test new HEIMDALL functionalities available as part of the Release B. In order to do that, experts prepared a Story with diverse actors who are usually present in an emergency. After the IT technicians established the lines of action and defined objectives, the Story was presented to the end users on April 16th in CIMA headquarters, located at the University of Savona (Italy)

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HEIMDALL Team in Savona (Italy) last April

Within this context, the partner responsible for evaluating the ethics (EKUT) of the project, distributed surveys to the end users after they tested the software to ensure that the procedures were in accordance with their ethical guidelines.  The  Release B of the Project was based on:

  • The context of the end-users and the environment in which they operate
  • The objective of the exercise
  • Physical drivers – i.e., natural hazards
  • Incorporation of damage and losses in a possibly realistic way
  • Flow of response planning / preparedness activities in the end-users reference workflow
  • Availability of functionality in the integrated system for Release A supporting the story (and also in stand-alone tool implementation if necessary to evaluate)

In general, the demonstration was really enriching, for both the end users and technicians, to get to know the real needs of the first responders. The cooperation among them is essential to create an efficient tool.

Clàudia Abancò (ICGC) explains why landslides happen

Monesi Case Study

The second demonstration was organized in two exercises or stories, that represented the actions carried out for the preparedness and response phases in order to manage a landslide event occurred on November 24th 2016 in Monesi di Mendatica, a village in the Imperia province in the alpine area of the Liguria Region.

The event

The Monesi landslides occurred after heavy rainfalls had woken up a paleofrana causing large terrain movements. Everything started in the morning, where the pre-alert phase was activated due to the heavy rainfalls, and continued to the emergency response phase.

A wide vision of the affected area. Special attention on the road affectation
Case Study-Monesi-

The road between San Bernardo and Monesi was completely covered by the terrain and therefore Monesi remained isolated from the rest of the area. One house was completely destroyed while 25% of houses were condemned and several others heavily damaged. There were no human casualties as a result of the landslide, but the majority of people living in Monesi had to be rescued from their houses and evacuated in safe areas.

The first exercise and story represented the preparedness phase for Monesi di Mendatica landslide. The aims of the actions within this preparedness phase are “to be prepared” and ready against future events, avoiding reactive responses and fostering pro-active decisions by knowing in advance the potential affectations.

Since no in-situ sensors were available for Monesi di Mendatica landslide, some actions included in the story refered to Barberà de la Conca site. Barberà de la Conca is a village in Catalonia (Spain) that is affected by a terrain movement and is being monitored with a monitoring system consisting in in-situ hydrological and geotechnical sensors and periodic GB-SAR campaigns, owned by ICGC (Catalan Institute for Geologic and Carthograph.)

The story within the first exercise collected the actions performed by civil protection operators, the red cross operators, the local police in the period before the event, which resulted in a set of preparedness actions, such as the creation and publication of the hydrogeological risk management plan (including both flood and landslide risk in the area surrounding Monesi di Mendatica), the elaboration of a plan for raising population awareness on this type of risks and the identification of lessons learned during previous landslides, as well as a set of training activities.

You can be update through the Social Media & Newsletters

  1. Follow HEIMDALL 
  2. Questionnaire
  3. Newsletter #1
  4. Newsletter #2 

Nuestro proyecto «Acércate a los Incendios Forestales» es aprobado por la FECYT

 

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Acercar la ecología del fuego a la sociedad más joven es nuestra meta principal dentro del proyecto «Acércate a los Incendios Forestales» recientemente aprobado por la FECYT y el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, debido a la serie de incendios forestales que últimamente acechan a España y al mundo; y consecuentemente a la puesta de manifiesto de la necesidad de mejorar las tareas de divulgación sobre estos fenómenos.

Logo Dibujos animados

Dibujos animados con distintos escenarios de incendios, una guía para docentes y/o adultos acompañantes y una exposición de arte virtual, serán las actividades que desarrollaremos a lo largo del 2018 y 2019 para sensibilizar y concienciar primero a los niños, niñas y jóvenes e indirectamente a los adultos.

El 2017 ha quedado como un año que pone en evidencia que los incendios forestales son un fenómeno global que afectan a países tan lejanos y con ecosistemas tan diferentes como España, Canadá, Chile, Portugal o Francia. Este es un indicio de que algo no va bien; y que desde el punto de vista divulgativo se debe y se puede hacer más. Es por esto, que el principal objetivo de nuestro proyecto es concienciar del riesgo, de la autoprotección y la seguridad en los habitantes de zonas de interfaz urbano-forestal, a partir de una serie de innovaciones tecnológicas hechas a medida para la población más joven.

La sociedad en general percibe los incendios forestales como algo negativo y muy lejano a su día a día. En general, estamos avanzando por la dirección contraria y cada vez nos alejamos más de los mensajes que nos transmiten los científicos y los técnicos especialistas.  Por ello, nosotros como Fundación y dentro de este proyecto queremos reorientar la percepción social de los incendios forestales, para no interpretarlos como algo negativo sino como un proceso o perturbación natural que hay que incluir en la gestión del territorio, acortando así distancias entre el mundo científico y tecnológico y la sociedad en general.

Fuegos Sostenibles e Insostenibles

Los incendios forman parte de la naturaleza y durante millones de años han configurado la diversidad de los ecosistemas. Esos son los regímenes de fuego naturales y sostenibles. En cambio hay otros incendios insostenibles, que superan la capacidad de los medios de extinción, por tres razones principales: La gran cantidad de urbanizaciones construidas actualmente en nuestros montes, la gran expansión de vegetación forestal debida a los cambios en la intensificación de la agricultura y ganadería y la simultaneidad de incendios forestales, como en el reciente caso de Galicia.

Gracias al FECYT y al Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades vamos a poder sacar este proyecto tan necesario e innovador adelante. “Acércate a los incendios forestales” tiene como objetivo, entre otros, incrementar la conciencia del riesgo sobre todo entre los habitantes de las zonas de interfaz urbano-forestal con el fin de aumentar su seguridad y, en consecuencia, su calidad de vida o incluso, mejorar la percepción de la sociedad urbana de las actividades tradicionales y culturales como el pastoreo y los aprovechamientos forestales.

GEO-SAFE Secondment in Australia

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The 12nd of September the Pau Costa Foundation started a secondment of the GEO-SAFE H2020 Project in the RMIT-Melbourne (School of Science Cluster, Department of Mathematical Science) for 5 months. The main objective of this stay is to collaborate in the development of models on stochastic cartography to improve end-users response (WP1). PCF will also explore opportunities to network with the Australian partners in different projects.

These are the meeting and the events carried out in the frame of GEO-SAFE project during the secondment:

Fire management analysis and exchange of experiences and lessons learnt

  • Forest Fire Management Group (FFMG), 19th September, Melbourne (link)
  • Meeting with Burnology developers, 28th September, Melbourne
  • Attendance to the Research Advisory Forum 2017 – 25th October, Melbourne (link)
  • Meeting with Jason Sharples and Sébastian Lahaye, 25th October, Melbourne (link)

Awareness communication and education

  • Exchange of knowledge on Community Engagement in Wildfires in Chile, Australia and Europe, 18th September, Geelong (link)
  • Knowledge exchange with Irene Strodthoff, PhD on Emergency Journalism in Chile seconded in RMIT, 2nd October

End-users involvement in research projects

  • Visit to Komorama Park and Marysville with Euan Ferguson (IAWF Board Member and former CFA Chief Officer) to analyse the Black Saturday episode, 30th September

Promotion of exchanges between Australia and Europe

  • Meeting with Euan Ferguson (IAWF Board Member and former CFA Chief Officer), John Handmer (RMIT Melbourne) and John Hearne (link)

Research Exchanges on Fire Modelilng

  • Meeting with John Hearne (RMIT) and Andrea Duane (CTFC)
  • Meeting with Pep Canadell, the Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project and CSIRO Research Scientist, Canberra, 24th October